Friday, November 17, 2017

LA 35mm Top-Secret Film Screenings Week of Nov. 17, 2017

Extra! Extra! Your weekly LA 35mm film screenings paper appearing on social media newsstands today! (Includes some digital screenings.) I just watched Samuel Fuller’s Park Row (1952) last night, so I feel really newspapery today.

Side note, okay, shoot, I totally missed that AFI Fest was going on. How the hell?! I don’t even know if stuff was 35mm, but they were showing a healthy amount of classic movies, even if the point of such a festival should really be new movies. Anyway, hopefully you saw what you wanted. Somehow it wasn’t on the Egyptian’s Web site until I looked today, after it ended.

This is just what's on my personal radar. You can browse the LA Film Calendars links on my side bar to find even more!  → → →

On mobile displays, you may need to click "Desktop Version" at bottom and then you can see the sidebar.

Sometimes these choices are tonight, FYI, and not necessarily listed first.

Downtown Independent
On the Beach at Night Alone (2017, Hong Sang-soo)
Tue. Nov. 21 8:00 pm
Fri. Nov. 24 8:00 pm
Where are today’s current auteurs, the Fellinis, Antonionis and French New Wave directors of today? They’re here, in the body of Hong Sang-soo, an amazing director. Okay there are others, but this is a big director you really should be watching if you care about art cinema anymore. My favorite film of his is The Turning Gate, also known as On the Occasion of Remembering the Turning Gate (what a great long title!), and he also directed a nice one with Isabelle Huppert, In Another Country. Lead actress Kim Min-hee won the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival this year for her performance. This is his latest and looks like it’s appearing just twice here in LA. Screw the foreign language film Oscars, this is what you should really be seeing. No idea why actual art films are shunned at Oscar time. Go see the real shit. (Presumably shot and screened digital.)

Amores Perros (2000, Alejandro González Iñárritu)
Mon. Nov. 20 7:30 pm
This is the film that put Alejandro González Iñárritu on the map in the US, and he hasn’t looked back since (Birdman, The Revenant). This is well worth seeing in 35mm on the big screen, especially because of its unique film processing. While not the first, it’s a very prominent example of using the bleach-bypass processing method to get that silvery desaturated look. More silver is preserved in the processing of the film elements for what’s sometimes described as a “black and white in color” look, like with the grain and grittiness of black and white, but in color. It’s expensive due to the silver retention(!), but creates this unique, gritty look. Plus it’s Rodrigo Prieto I almost failed to mention, ha, the cinematography genius who after this collaboration has D.P.’d some of the most famous recent Hollywood movies. I never loved this movie entirely, however, as there’s good and bad things about Iñárritu’s approach to cinema in general. He’s a bit more mainstream of a Hollywood auteur than art film auteur, but I think this is a good screening to attend and reevaluate.  Especially in this ginormous state-of-the-art theater at the Academy for only 5 bucks?!

UCLA Film & TV Archive
Vengeance of the Phoenix Sisters (1968, Chen Hung-min)
Moon Fascinating, Bird Sweet (1978, Chen Yao-chi)
Sun. Nov. 19 7:00 pm
Wow just based on these titles alone, let’s go! The first is a swordplay film, described as having balletic editing. UCLA goes so far as to say this period in Taiwan rivals Shaw Brothers films of the era, but then I think we would have heard of them before now. However, the second film is a very early Brigitte Lin (Chin-shia) film! I had no idea she had a pre-Hong Kong career in Taiwan, and that it started this far back, man, 1978, that’s a long time ago. Big fan of hers, so seeing her in her earlier phase in Taiwanese films sounds like a can’t-miss very rare screening. This is not a martial arts film, it’s a steamy melodrama. (Okay, maybe not steamy, I made that up, but the screen grab looks kind of steamy.) You may know her from Chungking Express, The Bride with White Hair, Dream Lovers (w/Chow Yun-Fat), Swordsman II, (This screening DCP.)

New Beverly
The Thin Man (1934, W.S. Van Dyke)
Another Thin Man (1939, W.S. Van Dyke)
Sun. Nov. 19 6:30 pm/8:30 pm
Mon. Nov. 20 7:30 pm/9:30 pm
William Powell and Myrna Loy dazzle with chemistry in this early sound-era classic from a Dashiell Hammett novel, with some of the hard-boiled grit scrubbed off in favor of Hollywood sparkle. But still so worth it! I haven’t seen the second one. Is it good? Well, you’re sitting there anyway for a double feature. It’s the third film in the series. Both 35mm!

Egyptian Theatre
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick) in 70mm!
Sun. Nov. 19 7:30 pm
Wed. Nov. 22 7:30 pm
Fri. Nov. 24 7:30 pm
Sat. Nov. 25 7:30 pm
What can I tell you, this plays all the fricking time. But it was shot on 70mm and is being screened on 70mm. As opposed to seeing some 35mm film blown up to 70mm, this is the real deal, and there’s a big difference. So, if you haven’t seen it, really this is the ideal way! It has some slowness to modern audiences in certain sections by taking too much time showing off special effects that were brand-new at the time, and the closed-off behaviors of the lead astronauts may seem a bit obtuse at times, but by the end, you’ll be deep in thought contemplating the ideas it brings up on such a wondrous journey, and in the thrall of A.I.'s biggest star of them all, Hal 9000. Your only excuse not to go? If you have already seen it more than once on 70mm, otherwise, you better go.

Autry Museum (w/Los Angeles Film Forum)
Amérika Trilogy, part 2: Orinoko, Nueva Mundo (1984, Diego Rísquez)
Sun. Nov. 19 4:00 pm
35mm screening! This is an experimental film, part 1 of which (see prior week) was the first Super 8 film to be selected for the Directors Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. Part 2 also played Cannes but was never distributed in the US. This trilogy is about the real and mythical histories of the Latin American continent. The film is said to be surreal, a speechless vision of the history of Venezuela and the Orinoco River basin before and after conquest. Appearing in some form are historical figures such as Columbus, but through the eyes of the indigenous peoples. This is a fascinating subject for me as I just read a whole book on Trinidad’s entire history (just off the coast of Venezuela). Director Diego Rísquez in person at these, a filmmaker from Venezuela. Sounds amazing! Part 1 already played. Part 3 is Nov. 20 at REDCAT at 8:30 pm.

REDCAT (w/Los Angeles Film Forum)
Amérika Trilogy, part 3: Amérika, Terra Incógnita (1988, Diego Rísquez)
Mon. Nov. 20 8:30 pm
Originally shot on Super 16mm and blown up to 35mm. (Presented here on 35mm.) This is an experimental film, part 1 of which (see above) was the first Super 8 film to be selected for the Directors Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. This trilogy is about the real and mythical histories of the Latin American continent. Sounds very interesting. Director Diego Rísquez in person at these, a filmmaker from Venezuela. Part 1 already played last week. Part 2 is Nov. 19 at the Autry Museum at 4:00 pm.

Downtown Independent
El Vampiro (1957, Fernando Méndez)
Sombra verde (1954, Roberto Gavaldón
Sat. Nov. 18 7:30 pm
The first is a said to be a classic of midcentury Mexican horror, but that’s not a thing on my radar, what is that?! Anyway, it’s two people stranded at a train station at night, and boom, a carriage offers to give them a ride and things will get bitey. Sounds like that Coppola Dracula. In the second film, we have Ricardo Montalbán returning to Mexico to make a film, whilst already a major star in the US. It’s a bit of an erotic jungle adventure film, but sounds interesting. (First film 35mm, second film DCP.)

New Beverly
The War of the Gargantuans (1966, Ishiro Honda)
Sat. Nov. 18 11:59 pm
It’s back! In case you missed it before. I didn’t see it yet, so I don’t know, it seemed pretty popular if you like weird giant monster cinema from the director of Godzilla. This probably does go down better at midnight!

New Beverly
His Kind of Woman! (1951, John Farrow)
Thunder Road (1958, Arthur Ripley)
Tue. Nov. 21 7:30 pm/10:00 pm
Wed. Nov. 22 7:30 pm/10:00 pm
Get your Mitchum on with a double feature. My spidey sense says these are not the all-time best Robert Mitchum films ever, but hey you got Jane Russell, Vincent Price and Raymond Burr in the first film, plus Mitchum sings the theme song in the second (see the trailer on the site link). Given the dearth of old-timey films screening in 35mm, it could be worth going and maybe fun.

NuArt Theatre
Suspiria (Extended) (1977, Dario Argento)
Fri. (tonight) Nov. 17 11:59 pm
A 4k restoration. Extended version. Jessica Harper is always awesome!

Echo Park Film Center
The House is Black (1963, Forough Farrokhzad)
Sat. Nov. 18 8:00 pm
Iranian cinema has been amazing since about the 1960s through today with such luminaries as Abbas Kiarostami (recently deceased), Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Majid Majidi, and Samira Makhmalbaf just to name a few of the best. Their fruitful forbears in the 1960s influenced their more well-known ’90s followers and that is what this screening is about. Some bridged the entire period, such as Dariush Mehrjui, who worked from the ’60s through the ’90s, even to today. This short film here from 1963 is by a famed poet and is said to have heavily influenced the later cinema figures. I’m a huge Iranian cinema enthusiast, especially of Abbas Kiarostami, and somehow have not seen this film! (Screening format not disclosed, short film 20 minutes.)

Coming Next Week

New Beverly
Prison on Fire (1987, Ringo Lam)
Victim (1999, Ringo Lam)
Tue. Nov. 28 7:30 pm/9:40 pm
I was a huge fan of the Prison on Fire films and really almost anything Chow Yun-Fat was in once I first came across him in the ’90s. Very interested to see how this film has aged. It had a sequel, Prison on Fire II (1991), not showing here. But instead we have a 1999 Ringo Lam film, Victim, starring a very awesome Hong Kong actor, Lau Ching-Wan. I can’t recall if I ever watched this movie or not. A lot of post-handover Hong Kong films just weren’t as good (the hand-over of sovereignty from the United Kingdom to China in 1997). The highly endearing lower-budget attempts to exceed Hollywood excess just weren’t there anymore and the films, perhaps unrelated to the handover, were trying to get more respectable. See Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for more evidence. Anyway, so you’re seeing a gap bridged here, the before and after. Prime excess ’80s Hong Kong awesomeness vs. ’90s with the same director even. Although given that this is Grindhouse night, the second film definitely shouldn’t be too respectable! See if you notice a difference. And Chow Yun-Fat is the most charismatic actor in a generation, the reincarnation of Cary Grant, definitely see that film!

New Beverly
West Side Story (1961, Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins)
Sat. Nov. 25 11:59 pm
A midnight screening of West Side Story?!? Methinks you misjudge your audience for this film! But it’s a great, fun film. Well worth seeing. Especially in 35mm.

Aero Theatre
Singing in the Rain (1952, Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen)
Fri. Nov. 24 7:30 pm
Played recently, but it’s back again. Oh, darn, it’s in DCP. Well, still great! Always enjoyed seeing a musical on the big screen at the Aero.

Echo Park Film Center
Renaldo and Clara (1978, Bob Dylan)
Sat. Nov. 25 8:00 pm
Four-hour-long film directed by Bob Dylan, with some scenes written by Sam Shepard. Here it is being shown on a VHS recording of a 4-hour broadcast. Hmm, well, depends how badly you want to see this, although it is in a lovely friendly and communal atmosphere. If it’s up your alley, definitely check this unique event out.

Note: Some of the Aero screenings didn’t seem filled in past Nov. 24, so check their site for more updated info.

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